Trinity College Made €6.5 Million Profit from Student Accommodation Rent in 2016

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Trinity College Dublin brought in €10.3 million in rent from their on-campus accommodation and Trinity Halls in 2016. The college made a profit of €6.5 million from the rent intake. Trinity spent €3.7 million running the accommodation, between staff costs and maintenance. The figures from TCD were released to the Tribune under the Freedom of Information act.

In the 2014/15 college year Trinity brought in just under €11 million in rent, and took the decision to raise campus rent by just under 4%. The income from rent fell following the college’s rental increase, indicating a drop in the number of students living in Trinity run residences.

Trinity Halls is the college’s largest bloc of accommodation, located off campus in Rathmines. Rent in ‘Halls’ cost €4,900 for a standard single room with shared facilities. This isn’t including a charge for utilities of around €450. More expensive accommodation located beside the college on Pearse street in Goldsmith Hall costs €6,018 including utilities. And rent for a room directly on the city centre campus in Botany Bay or on the front square cost €6,585 last year.

A spokesperson from Trinity College said ‘no rents have been determined for 17/18’ but couldn’t rule out further price increases. The Trinity Students’ Union President Kieran McNulty said the rent hikes in Trinity and other colleges were a result of university’s funding problems. Universities now see accommodation as an income stream he claimed, which speaks to the funding crisis and ‘what universities have had to resort to, to make money’ and stay afloat. Last year Trinity College recorded a €30 million financial deficit. The majority of third level institutions are running financial deficits, with UCD being the only college recording a financial surplus last year, due to its comparatively large non-state revenue stream from international student fees.

Last November the Tribune revealed UCD made €10 million in profit from on-campus residences. The college brought in €18.2 million in rent for 2016, and the campus residences cost €7.7 million to run and maintain. UCD have raised rent for 40% in the last four years, and have announced a further 2.8% rent hike for the 2017/18 term across all accommodation. The more expensive campus rooms in Ashfield and Glenoma are rising from €8,104 a term to €8,334. The standard accommodation in Belgrove and Merville are increasing from €6,607 to €6,792. Similar increases of between 2-3% are anticipated for the 2018/19 year.

‘UCD have also advertised for a building contractor to construct the next phase of on-campus residences blocks’.

UCD are starting to begin the next phase of their Residences ‘masterplan’, which includes adding 3,000 extra beds to on-campus accommodation. The university has advertised for a building contractor to conduct ‘enabling works’, which are to clear a designated site for the construction of another new accommodation block. The works it is expected will take place over the summer. Alongside the contract for site clearance works, UCD have also advertised for a building contractor to construct the next phase of on-campus residences blocks. The contract which has a rated value of more than €25 million states ‘the works may involve working on buildings, up to circa ten storeys in height, which will generally be of a residential, academic, student amenity nature’. The total value of the works are not set as various building companies will now bid for the contract by pitching a price to UCD, and the college will select one bidder.

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Jack Power   Editor

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